After several days of speculation, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has made it official: he’s retiring from the NFL after 22 years.
He announced his decision on his Instagram page, where he wrote:
I have always believed the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition — if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game. “There is a physical, mental and emotional challenge EVERY single day that has allowed me to maximize my highest potential. And I have tried my very best these past 22 years. There are no shortcuts to success on the field or in life.
This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore. I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention. I’ve done a lot of reflecting the past week and have asked myself difficult questions. And I am so proud of what we have achieved. My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.
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We first heard stirrings that the legendary quarterback may be hanging up his helmet over the weekend, when, as my PJ Media colleague Cameron Arcand reported, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Brady’s own company attempted to break the news:
Brady’s company TB12 Sports put out a tweet about the 44-year-old’s career, which was primarily spent with the New England Patriots.
“7 Super Bowl Rings. 5 Super Bowl MVPs. 3 League MVP Awards. 22 Incredible Seasons. Thank you for it all, @TomBrady,” the tweet said, according to the Associated Press. The outlet did not include the fact that the tweet is now deleted.
Moments later, Schefter posted a statement from Brady’s agent, Don Yee, that appears to show frustration with the reports.
ESPN reports that Brady has been saying that he didn’t want a “farewell season,” and even as late as yesterday, Brady said in a podcast interview that he was still mulling his decision.
Over his long, storied career, Brady has collected seven Super Bowl rings and inspired a generation of football players. He will now concentrate on his business endeavors, including his newly-released clothing line.
Congratulations to Tom Brady on his astounding career, and best of luck to him in this new phase of his life.